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Silenced musicians will get to play at a virtual venue

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

St. John’s United Methodist Church music director Matthew Greer is starting a program to help local musicians after the many cancellations of performances. (Courtesy of St. John’s United Methodist Church)

The cancellations of local music performances has taken a toll on musicians.

Enter Matt Greer.

The director of music and worship ministries at St. John’s United Methodist Church in Albuquerque is taking steps to help out the affected entertainers.

On Saturday, Greer began reaching out to local musicians to perform at St. John’s.

In a letter, Greer says St. John’s has been trying to find ways to get good music out to the congregation during this unsettling time.

Since the church isn’t having worship services or concerts, he and St. John’s wanted to do something to help friends and colleagues.bright spot

Here’s the idea: St. John’s is hiring musicians to perform in videos that can be shared with the St. John’s congregation – and beyond.

“We hope to share two videos a day for the next couple of weeks (longer, if necessary),” Greer said.

The videos will begin streaming Monday at the St. John’s Music Ministry Facebook page.

In addition, Thomas Goodrich has set up a relief fund for musicians in New Mexico and is putting together a committee to administer it.

Goodrich set up the GoFundMe page, which can be found by searching “New Mexico Musicians Relief Fund Amid COVID-19.”

Goodrich said the campaign is modeled after a similar one in Seattle, which has already raised over $100,000.

“Although theirs was open to all workers of the arts, and we’ve limited ours to musicians,” Goodrich said. “So far Matt and I are the only two on the committee to administer the fund. I’m reaching out to folks in Farmington and Las Cruces to join so we have a statewide committee.”

Greer says each musician will be paid $100 for performing in a video.

Musicians will be paid within 10 days.

Some musicians slated to perform are: Bradley Ellingboe, Kristin Ditlow, John Yuan, Ivan Conrad, Joel Becktell, Diana Hughes and Robert Law.

“Part of the rationale for doing this is to provide work to musicians,” Greer said.

Videos will be no longer than five minutes, so he’s recommending that entertainers choose repertoire accordingly.

Those interested in doing a video shoot can email Claudia Giese at

Giese will be scheduling and coordinating with musicians, Greer said.

“It’s fine if the repertoire is more on the reflective side, but don’t feel you have to limit yourself to that,” Greer said. “We’re needing fun and joy right now, too.”

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